The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed up to $18m in recoupable grant funding to a joint venture to build a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery facility near Hughenden in North Queensland.

Windlab and Eurus Energy joint venture will receive the funding to build the first $120m phase of Kennedy Energy Park.

The energy park consists of 19.2MW (AC) solar photovoltaic (PV), 21.6MW wind and 2MW/4 MWh battery storage.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “Kennedy Energy Park will be the first time a combined large-scale solar, wind and battery installation has connected to Australia’s national electricity market.

“The park will be connected to the Ergon Energy network and add to the growing portfolio of ARENA-supported fringe-of-grid projects in Queensland.”

Recently, ARENA has supported two other projects that include the Gullen Range solar farm, co-located with an existing wind farm near Canberra, and the Lakeland solar and storage project in far North Queensland.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2018, is a pilot for the next phase Big Kennedy.

Big Kennedy is planned to include up to 600 MW of solar PV and 600 MW of wind and the potential for multiple storage options such as large-scale battery and regional pumped hydro storage.

Frischknecht said: “The proposed scale of Big Kennedy is comparable to large coal-fired plants in Queensland like Tarong or Stanwell.

“Big Kennedy could meet most of Northern Australia’s growing demand for electricity and provide as much as 20 per cent of new build capacity for Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.”